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Sunday, June 20, 2021

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Jacob Gilyard to return to UR for additional season

<p>Richmond Spiders' guard Jacob Gilyard during the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinal against Mississippi State at UNT Coliseum on Thursday, Mar. 26, 2021. <em>Photo courtesy of the NCAA</em></p>

Richmond Spiders' guard Jacob Gilyard during the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinal against Mississippi State at UNT Coliseum on Thursday, Mar. 26, 2021. Photo courtesy of the NCAA

Jacob Gilyard announced on his social media accounts Sunday evening that he would be returning to the University of Richmond men's basketball team for an additional season next year. 

At 5:39 p.m. on Sunday, the senior guard posted on his Twitter and Instagram accounts announcing that he would be using the extra year of eligibility granted to winter athletes by the NCAA as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to come back to the Spider’s program for one final year.

“Thankful for all the people who helped me along the way, but we aren’t done yet. See you next year,” Gilyard wrote in both his Instagram and Twitter posts.

In his four years at UR, Gilyard was a finalist for the Lefty Driesell Award and averaged 13.2 points per game, five assists per game and 3.1 steals per game. He was named to three All-Atlantic 10 teams, three All-Atlantic 10 defensive teams and won the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year award his junior year, according to his biography on the men's basketball roster. 

With 358 career steals, the Kansas City native sits fifth in NCAA Division-I history and is only 28 steals away from solely holding the record.

“Gilyard is an unbelievable player,” 500+ win head coach Ben Howland said after his Mississippi State Bulldogs beat the Spiders 68-67 on Thursday. 

“I mean the guy is top five in the history of college basketball [in steals]," Howland said. "He’s an incredible player.”

Four other Spiders in their final years of playing basketball at UR -- Nathan Cayo, Blake Francis, Grant Golden and Nick Sherod -- have yet to make a decision on their future but are expected to "within the week," Spiders head coach Chris Mooney said in a post game press conference after the Mississippi State game.

“We’ll sit down this weekend just to start the process,” Mooney said Thursday. “We’ve always offered to help [final year players] with the interview process for agents and things, that part of it is very normal… the option to return makes it much more unique.”

Contact sports editor Krystian Hajduczka at krystian.hajduczka@richmond.edu.

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